The union instructed its 160,000 members in September not to accept any work for BBH, which had been signed to SAG-AFTRA’s commercials contracts since 1999. The strike came two weeks after BBH publicly announced that it had withdrawn from the contract, asserting that the agreement was outdated and accusing the union of being inflexible.
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The union held dozens of rallies against BHH, including one in January that drew nearly 1,000 supporters next to the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.
BBH is owned by Publicis Groupe, a multinational communications and marketing company that owns several ad agencies including SAG-AFTRA signatories Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett. The agency has produced commercials for Audi, Absolut, Ikea, Samsung, and Virgin Media.
SAG-AFTRA said Saturday that the end of the strike stemmed from a recent favorable ruling from an administrative law judge in response to its filing of an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board.
SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said, “We’re pleased that BBH has returned to their longtime status as a SAG-AFTRA signatory. Since the inception of our relationship nearly 20 years ago, we have partnered effectively to provide the best talent in the world to BBH clients while ensuring fair compensation and safe working conditions for SAG-AFTRA members. It has been and will continue to be an extraordinarily productive relationship delivering value to the entire industry. Now, with our new 2019 Commercials Contracts we are thrilled that BBH can take full advantage of the transformative compensation models in this groundbreaking agreement to better compete in the constantly evolving advertising industry.”
Brett Edgar, managing director of BBH NY, said, “Our goal from the start was to produce high-level, cutting-edge creative work for our clients on a level playing field in a fast-evolving industry. We lost the battle, will respect the ruling and move on. We thank our clients for their unrelenting support throughout this process.”